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witness to its greatness. in the first century b.c., the city of one million was master of the mediterranean world. rome's empire stretched from spain in the west to syria and egypt in the east. the roman elite were rich beyond measure. they ranged from the cunning and prudent julius caesar... to the intellectually inclined augustus... to cruel caligula, deviser of public spectacles that included murder .....to nero, who, it's said, kicked his wife to death for rebuking him. the upper classes were well educated, connected by kinship, business and political ties. wearied by the crowds and hectic pace of roman life, they pined for greater leisure and the chance it gave to contemplate the finer things of life. each spring, as the senate recessed, roman power brokers -- the patrician families, senators, and untold numbers of entrepreneurs made rich by roman dominance -turned to the bay of naples. over generations, they built lavish villas along the shoreline of campania. the villa pausilypon -a greek name meaning "the end of pain" -had a private theater for the pleasure of i
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